1 Percenters Flock To Support Their Own In Mitt Romney
By James P. Hoffa, General President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Published In The Detroit News on July 11, 2012
The billionaires fueling Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign don’t like American workers, except to exploit them.
And they clearly know a soulmate when they see one.
At last count, 33 billionaires have donated to Romney’s “Restore Our Future” PAC.
Few of Romney’s billionaire backers make actual products – most simply siphon income from ordinary workers into their Swiss bank accounts.
Romney’s most prominent backer is Macao casino operator Sheldon Adelson, who is expected to give Romney’s PAC as much as $100 million.
America’s aristocrats of inherited wealth are also backing Romney -- the Marriott hotel heirs, the Wal-Mart heirs, a Mellon Bank heir, and an heir to a billionaire coal mining family.
What is so troubling about Romney’s backers is not their wealth but the source of their wealth. These corporate predators siphon income out of workers’ pockets, out of communities and out of the country. One exception – which proves the rule – is Jim Davis, founder of New Balance, a company that makes some of its shoes in America.
Romney’s predatory backers want to consolidate their power so they can continue funneling America’s wealth into their own investment portfolios.
History shows us that nations collapse when a small elite controls the government and runs an economic system for its exclusive benefit. Nations prosper when their economies reward broad groups – not just the wealthy, but merchants, traders, inventors, manufacturers and workers.
A Romney donor unintentionally exposed the elite’s view of ordinary people at David Koch’s Southampton estate last weekend: "I don't think the common person is getting it ... My college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies -- everybody who's got the right to vote -- they don't understand what's going on. I just think if you're lower income -- one, you're not as educated, two, they don't understand how it works, they don't understand how the systems work, they don't understand the impact."
Actually, they do understand it. Workers know they’re under attack by America’s elite. But so are small business owners, community banks, factory owners and entrepreneurs who want to make a product in America.
Take Wal-Mart. The giant retailer doesn’t just exploit its workers with poverty-level wages. Wal-Mart destroys small retailers, who can’t compete on price. Wal-Mart loots the taxpayer, who subsidizes Wal-Mart employees with food stamps and Medicaid. Wal-Mart kills U.S. manufacturers by racing to the bottom and looting third world countries. Wal-Mart hurts truck drivers and warehouse workers by using intermediaries to hire them as low-paid “independent contractors.”
But the elite’s powerful propaganda machine turns our attention to the teacher, the police officer and the nurse. It’s the rich telling the middle class that the poor are to blame.
But the response should be a focus on Wall Street and the Vulture Capitalists that plunder working families, destroy small business and ravage communities.
But rest assured, a President Mitt Romney would make sure that never happens.
To read archived articles from General President Hoffa, click here.